Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today

Mississippi State linebacker Nathaniel Watson was arrested Saturday for suspicion of driving under the influence, according to records from the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office. Watson finished second in the SEC last season with 113 total tackles, behind only his teammate and linebacker counterpart Jett Johnson

"We are aware of the matter and are continuing to gather information," Mississippi State coach Zach Arnett said in a statement provided to the Clarion Ledger. "We do not have further comment at this time."

This is Watson's second arrest since signing with Mississippi State. In 2018, shortly after sending in his national letter of intent as a three-star prospect out of Maplesville (Alabama) High School, Watson was charged with felony assault and various other traffic violations following a street racing incident. He still joined the Bulldogs for the 2018 season and redshirted after appearing in two games. 

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Watson broke into the starting lineup in 2021, and in 2022 appeared in all 13 games with 12 starts. In addition to his 113 total tackles, he had six sacks (which ranked ninth in the SEC), 12 tackles for loss, one interception and one pass breakup. 

A sixth-year senior, Watson elected to return for the 2023 season and his final year of collegiate eligibility. Johnson, who had 115 total tackles, also elected to come back and take advantage of his extra year of playing time. Watson and Johnson combined for almost 400 total tackles over the past two years.